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This is the first non-introduction chapter of my book, defining the terms. Should be particularly useful for new readers. Feedback is welcome. Enjoy.
Before we can work together, we need to learn each others’ terms. Well, I’m a book, so I can’t learn anything. But you’ll need to learn my terms. That’s what Part 1 is for.
Chapter 1 (today) is a quick overview of the major parts of direct magick. I’ll also put this into the Glossary (link at the top of the page) for easy reference.
Ethereal software is my term for the external forces that drive most magick.
When you do a ritual, visualization, or send out your intent, you’re sending out instructions about what you want to happen. Those instructions get picked up by ethereal software, which then drives the actual changes in the world. You can think of ethereal software as the force that implements magick’s natural laws, or as the provider of the energy and intuitions you channel.
Like a computer, ethereal software is intelligent, but doesn’t have feelings or emotions. (Spirits, in contrast, are intelligent and sentient, like people.) Ethereal software was programmed, and can be reprogrammed by spirits and mages. We’ll do that in Part 5.
If the concept sounds similar to Chaos Magick’s “egregore,” that’s because it is. In fact, both terms probably refer to some of the same actual forces. But the term “egregore” also tells you how to create and strengthen those forces, how to find concepts with strong egregores, and so on. I use my own term because I don’t want that baggage.
Mental muscles are my term for the parts of your mind that drive magick. Engaging them makes the difference between imagining something vs doing actual magick, just like engaging your leg muscles makes the difference between imagining moving vs actually walking. We’ll explore how to awaken and strengthen your mental muscles later in this book.
In most magick, your mental muscles will contact the ethereal software, then get out of the way. But in direct magick — that’s what this book is about — we make our mental muscles conscious, then do magick with just our mental muscles, without relying on ethereal software. You’ll see how that helps us do new magick and get better results later in this book.
Energy is widely used by mages and healers to refer to “that thing that makes you feel tingly.” I use it the same way.
One trap to avoid: Just because it’s called “energy” doesn’t mean it has any similarities to other things called energy. The physics definition of energy (which we’ll write as physics::energy) is “the ability to do work,” but that doesn’t mean that magickal energy (which we’ll write as magick::energy) has an ability to do work. Why? Because we arbitrarily chose to name it energy, and could just as easily have named it something else. Naming a rock “barbecue” wouldn’t make it delicious, and naming the thing that makes you feel tingly “energy” doesn’t make it able to do work.
Have you ever seen a question like, “Does energy healing work by giving cells the energy they need to grow?” It sounds pretty plausible, right? Well, try it with that notation: “Does healing with magick::energy work by giving cells the bio::energy they need?” No, no it doesn’t, because magick::energy isn’t bio::energy. (Remember that the name “energy” was an arbitrary decision. We’ll explore how energy healing actually works in Parts 4-5.)
In this book, assume that “energy” refers to magick::energy.
Connections are how mages interact with most of their magick. Think of them like your arms. You connect to someone to send them energy. Ethereal software connects to your mind to read your intent. You’ll eventually follow the connection from your mental muscles to your mind, so you can connect to more mental muscles. I’ll say “connect to X” a lot, and every time I do, that means you’re using a magickal connection.
Structure is an overarching term for “stable, long-lasting magickal stuff.” It’s like saying “solid” or “made of molecules”: It covers most things you’ll see. Examples of magickal structures: Connections, mental muscles, ethereal software, and so on. Energy is the only non-structure we’ve touched on so far, and it’s not a structure because it’s not stable: It flows through connections and other structures.
Basically, I say “structure” so I’m not saying “magickal stuff” all the time.
You know how each person’s energy feels different? And how some energy calms you, while other energy makes you excited, and so on? I call that feel the “signature” of the energy, or sometimes the “type” of energy. You can think of it as a color, but it’s more similar to a Jackson Pollack painting than a solid green or a rainbow. Some people use the term “vibration” instead.
Structure also has a signature, which determines the types (signatures) of energies it will interact with. That’s not something most models of magick discuss, so don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense right now. We’ll explore it throughout this book, and by the end, you’ll be able to see what I mean and use it for practical techniques.If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.